Monday, February 18, 2008

What is a Moochfest?.... Can it be a lesson in Grass-roots Marketing?

Though the definition will not show up in the dictionary, a Moochfest is a place where you lay out free food, and people eat it - a lot of it - while they talk with each other.

Our friends at Factory Five Racing hold one of these every year, and the most recent one was this past Saturday at their HQ in Wareham, Massachusetts.

What is so amazing to me (no, not the quality of the sub sandwiches - though those were good) is how far reaching such a small gathering can have in the world of car lovers.

Take for example the Jalopnik post on the Factory Five GTM from Monday. Here in this post, only 2 days after the aforementioned Moochfest, participants of the 'fest are posting realtime about their impressions of the GTM and Factory Five itself. Certainly the Company is not left unscathed, but in general, the posts are accurate and infused with a strong shot of optimism that someone at the Company is listening.

"BY NICK2NY AT 02/18/08 03:27 PM
I checked these out at Moochfest this weekend, and I'll tell you what, I'd have no fear running one of these as a daily driver. I spoke with Dave Smith (one of the founders of FFR) and he says one owner has more than 300k miles on his Roadster. The GTM should be no different, as it also has a boffin-designed tubular steel spaceframe . You'd never know that any of their cars are kits.

They've made about 200 of these GTM's so far, and I think you'll find that the owners are very happy--everyone I spoke with at the event said they buy another, and certainly, some of the owners sell their cars after building them just so they can labor on another.

Full writeup of the event on []"

Now, for those of you in the open-source world who deal in nano-seconds of feedback time, you may not think this feedback is any great shakes, but this kind of live feedback on car design with the company itself is pretty rare in the car world. Trust me.... or rather, if you are a 'doubting Thomas, go try to share a sub sandwich with Rick Wagoner and then post some comments about the Chevy Volt. Whether the comments were negative or not, the GM PR machine would rather see you sharing some cement slippers with John Gotti than lose control of that messaging, much less allow it to influence the design process. Trust me, this is special.

So, a Moochfest, may be about sandwiches and friends on the surface, but deep down it appears to be about whipping up the car-building world into a real-time frenzy.


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